In the world but not of it

April 13, 2010

Craving the world…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 1 John 2:16

The NLT words this same verse in the following way; “For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world”.

Both versions are very descriptive and simplify the issues we see in society today. To put it more plainly, if we are not committed to the Lord then we our commitment is to the world, which is governed by Satan. People don’t like hearing that because it is black and white and many prefer to have something in the middle but that is not what God’s word teaches.

This passage is not saying it is wrong to enjoy the blessings we have in this world. It is not saying that having a desire to succeed at your vocation is sinful. It is not saying that having a desire to buy a new home or a new car is something a believer should never consider.

The problem is that we often take verses in the Bible out of context and misunderstand what they were meant to communicate. The context in this entire passage is to instruct us to be careful and not give our affection and attention to the world. Contentment in this day and age is a rarity and the pressure to have more, achieve more, get more is constant. But the worldliness described here is not simply outward or external. It is actually more a reflection of our heart and the attitudes we hold onto inside.

As Christians we may not be as outwardly blatant about satisfying our physical desires, accumulating more things or being proud of our accomplishments but we may very well be harboring such attitudes in our hearts and therefore stumping our spiritual growth.

If you recall both Eve (Genesis 3:6) and Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11) were tempted in these same three areas as we often are. The enemy’s tricks haven’t changed much because he knows man’s passions don’t change. We are as foolish as the next person when it comes to prioritizing emotion vs. obedience.

Enjoy all that the Lord has given you. Be committed to do His will and your work for Him and let the results be what they may. But let’s never allow the world to seep into our hearts and violate what has been bought with such a precious price…

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